Teeth Whitening FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I too old for teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening can benefit adults of all ages. However, whitening gel will not lighten dental restorations. Therefore, if you have crowns or bridges that show when you smile, whitening may not be the optimal treatment for you. Additionally, if your gums have gotten more sensitive with age, you may not be a good candidate for whitening. Your dentist will help you discover whether this is the right procedure for your needs.
Can teens undergo teeth whitening?
Responsible teens who have their permanent teeth can receive teeth whitening with their dentist's approval. Most dentists recommend that adolescents wait until their late teens before receiving the treatment. The exception to this is KöR® Whitening Deep Bleaching™. Younger teens around age 14 or so are often the best candidates for this treatment, since their teeth are able to absorb oxygen more effectively.
Which type of whitening is right for me?
Both in-office and at-home professional whitening can be great options. There is no "right" or "wrong" choice when it comes to dentist-provided treatment. In general, in-office whitening may be a better choice if you are looking for the fastest and most dramatic results possible. If you already have some dental sensitivity, you are likely to be a better candidate for office care. At-home treatment may be the optimal choice if you are on a budget or you want to whiten your teeth in the convenience of your own home. Your dentist will provide a thorough consultation and help you choose the right treatment for your budget, lifestyle, and dental health.
Your dentist will use a color chart to plan your treatment and help you achieve the amount of whitening you desire.
How long will my results last?
Results are different for each patient, although you will eventually experience some re-staining. Depending on your dental health and diet, your results could last up to a year. However, if you are naturally predisposed to dental stains, or if you routinely consume stain-producing food and drink, you may benefit from touch-up treatments every few months. KöR® Whitening Deep Bleaching™ is the only method of teeth whitening that can yield permanent results.
Can I just rinse with peroxide to whiten my teeth?
Despite what you may have heard, you should never rinse your mouth with peroxide! Doing so will cause serious damage for your teeth and oral tissues. It will also do little to improve the color of your smile.
Are my teeth more susceptible to stains after whitening treatment?
Yes, your teeth will be more sensitive to stain-causing foods and drinks for the first few days after your treatment. Teeth whitening dehydrates your teeth for 24 to 48 hours, making them more porous. If you must consume coffee, tea, or wine, it is best to do so through a straw.
What can I do to lighten my implants, crowns, or bridge?
Although restorative materials are not typically susceptible to stains, smoking and other factors can cause discoloration. Unfortunately, whitening treatment will not remove these stains. Your dentist may be able to eliminate discoloration by buffing the restorations with a non-abrasive cleaning solution. To correct severe discoloration, your dentist may recommend an entirely new restoration.
ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. Tooth Whitening/Bleaching: Treatment Considerations for Dentists and Their Patients. (American Dental Association, 2009)
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